HANCOCK - In 2005, the Hancock Housing Commission established a foundation with the intent of eventually creating a special needs facility, and after securing funding, construction on the facility began August 16.
Employees of Yalmer Mattila Contracting are working on the first floor of what will be a three-story, 24-unit addition to Lakeview Manor on West Quincy Street.
Gail Ross, Hancock Housing Commission executive director, said the plan is to begin taking residents in the new building by August 2011.
Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
Employees from Yalmer Mattila Contracting work on the first floor of the three-story Quincy Haven special needs apartment building next to Lakeview Manor in Hancock. The finished facility will have amenities to accommodate people with physical and learning disabilities.
Ross said Lakeview Manor opened in 1968 with 50 senior-only units, which were considered accessible at that time. Another 36 units were soon added for residents who were at least 18 years old and met low-income criteria. In 1981, an annex of one-bedroom apartments was constructed next to Lakeview Manor.
After receiving many requests over the years from people asking if Lakeview Manor could accommodate people with physical or developmental disabilities, which it can't, Ross said the Hancock Housing Commission board of directors decided such a facility was needed, so investigations into possible funding sources began.
"The need has become more evident over the last 10 years," she said.
Although the commission received approval from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to receive Low Income Tax Credit, bonds for the proposed Quincy Haven project couldn't be sold due to the downturn in the national economy.
"Nobody was interested," she said.
However, with a boost from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, Ross said funding for the $4.9 million project was found.
The Hancock Housing Commission was approved by MSHDA to be the property manager for Quincy Haven, also, Ross said.
Of the 24 units in Quincy Haven, Ross said 18 are one-bedroom and six are two-bedroom. All units have special amenities including wider doorways, pocket doors inside the apartment, walk in or roll in floor-level showers, ceiling tracks for lifting devices in the bedrooms, clothes washers and driers, dishwashers and Internet access.
Ross said there will be a resident's assistant in the building, who will coordinate services for the residents with various agencies, including Superior Alliance for Independent Living in Marquette, Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, Copper Country Mental Health and Superior Home Nursing among others.
Ross said when completed, Quincy Haven will be the only special needs facility in the western Upper Peninsula. The next nearest facility is in Marquette.
Tracie Williams, with project overseers OHM Architects, Engineers and Planners, said construction is on schedule, and there have been no problems with construction.
"They didn't run into any bad soil," she said. "So far so good."
Construction will continue on the building as long as the weather makes it safe to do so, Williams said.
"The goal is to at least get the roof on by January," she said.
There have been no delays in getting construction materials, either, Williams said.
"Everything's arriving as planned," she said.
The plan is to have the building completed one year after the start of construction, Williams said, adding that representatives of MSHDA come to examine progress of the construction every other week.
Ross said there are 26 people on the waiting list to apply for the apartments, but the process isn't closed, yet. All applicants must meet various criteria to be eligible. Those wishing to get on the list should call 482-3252.
Ross said she's confident the apartments will be filled as soon as it opens.
"We want these people moved in by August," she said.
Kurt Hauglie can be reached at khauglie @mininggazette.com.